Stan Bowman isn't going to lock up a player like Hammer unless he confers with Coach Quenneville and other members of the brass which would include Scotty Bowman. I did feel that Hjalmarsson could have gotten that amount after the season from the free agent market, and perhaps the Hawks didn't feel they could replace a talent like Hjalmarsson and didn't want to play the "wait and see" game.
Niklas is only 26 yrs old and already has 4 + years in the league (306 NHL games so far). Niklas plays in the second pairing and plays good minutes. It was thought that his offensive numbers would take a hike up, but what we must remember is,...he truly is a stay at home defenseman.
With Keith, Seabrook, Crawford, Sharp, Hossa and Bickell signed up past the 2014-15 season, this leaves only a few solid core players (Toews and Kane) and a few promising players to re-sign.
We know this for certain....Stan Bowman has been a busy man this summer. Resting his laurels hasn't been one of his summer activities.
These are Hjalmarsson's Blackhawks stats only.